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Governing For The “Other Half” Of New Zealand

By   /  December 16, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  14 Comments

THE LABOUR PARTY has never been very tolerant of dissenters. It is, therefore, unsurprising that very few within its ranks have reacted positively to my recent posting on The Daily Blog. No matter how many private reservations Labour supporters may be harbouring about Grant Robertson’s “fiscally responsible” economic policies, they would rather his critics refrained from giving public voice to their concerns.

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Grant Robertson’s “Mini Budget” Presents Progressives With A “Maxi-Problem”

By   /  December 15, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  32 Comments

IT’S OFFICIAL – there is now no prospect of this government living up to its promises of introducing “transformational” change. Thanks to Grant Robertson, the Labour-NZ First-Green Government will, with one exception, be fundamentally indistinguishable from the Clark-Cullen ministry of 1999-2008.

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Yanis Varoufakis Would Tell Grant Robertson That Neoliberalism’s Rules Are For Breaking – Not Keeping.

By   /  December 12, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  24 Comments

IMAGINE THE REACTION if Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, announced a broad-ranging, government-sponsored seminar on progressive economics chaired by Yanis Varoufakis. Vilified and demonized by EU bankers and politicians for his heterodox economic ideas, Varoufakis resigned as Greece’s Finance Minister rather than impose yet another of the European Central Bank’s crushing economic diktats on his impoverished homeland.

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Warning Signs: The Briefings To Incoming Ministers Reveal A Country Gripped By Multiple Crises

By   /  December 9, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  14 Comments

The grim picture painted in the BIMs is the consequence of National’s class-driven programme of austerity. Labour’s seeming helplessness in the face of the multiple crises they reveal, is the direct consequence of its refusal to accept that the wounds of austerity can only be healed by applying the sovereign remedy of substantial increases in state spending – facilitated by a radical expansion of the tax base.

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Trump Recognises Jerusalem: The Zionist End-Game Begins

By   /  December 8, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  31 Comments

By announcing the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump has sent two very important messages to the extreme Zionist elements in Israeli society. The first message is brutally simple: the so-called “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dead. The second, to the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, is that, as the political logic of the two-state solution’s demise is followed to its inevitable and brutal conclusion, the United States has got Israel’s back. Not just at the UN Security Council, but everywhere Israel needs American support.

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Radical Transformers? Doesn’t Sound Like It.

By   /  December 2, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  41 Comments

TO ACCUSE POLITICIANS of being part of a “tax and spend” government is just another way of calling them social-democrats. By the same token, politicians who explicitly renounce the policies of tax and spend are signalling that they are anything but social-democrats.

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Green Party Lesson No. 1: Anticipating The Direction Of Political Sniper Fire

By   /  November 30, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  14 Comments

IN POLITICS, as in war, the aggressor’s first strike is almost always directed against the defender’s weakest point. That being the case, the National Opposition has clearly identified the Ardern Government’s lacklustre political management skills as its primary target. Their secondary target, equally clearly, is the Greens

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Genuine Open Government Empowers People and politicians alike

By   /  November 28, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  8 Comments

The old adage: “Information is Power”; imposes a real moral burden on democratic socialist politicians. If democracy is all about giving power to the people, then withholding information from them is, objectively, an act of deliberate disempowerment.

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A Moral Victory: The Supreme Court Rescues Our Judiciary From Itself

By   /  November 25, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  29 Comments

THE SUPREME COURT has finally declared the deal struck between the Department of Labour and Pike River boss, Peter Whittall, “unlawful”. A moral victory for Sonja Rockhouse and Anna Osborne, certainly, but hardly a victory for the New Zealand justice system.

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Communist In All But Name! Is Jacinda About to Oversee the Second Peaceful Transition to Kiwi Socialism?

By   /  November 23, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  56 Comments

For my money, that’s the most heart-warming endorsement of our new Labour Prime Minister that I have read to date. If Jacinda, with just two words, can shake the very foundations of Wall Street, then it’s possible that a “return to the bad old days of the 70s” may turn out to be something more than this old socialist’s pipe dream.

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Building an “Active Democracy” through “Constructive Engagement”. Chris Trotter responds to John Minto.

By   /  November 21, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  14 Comments

In spite of the fact that barely thirty days have passed since Winston Peters anointed Jacinda Ardern as New Zealand’s first progressive prime minister in nine years, John is ready to call the Left onto the streets in protest at her government’s refusal to walk away from the CPTPP.

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Not Quite An Act Of War: Analysing Australia’s Push-Back Against Jacinda’s Manus Island Outreach

By   /  November 18, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  19 Comments

YOU HAVE TO GO BACK A LONG WAY to find anything remotely resembling Australia’s current treatment of New Zealand. For a supposedly friendly government to deliberately inject inflammatory disinformation into the political bloodstream of its supposedly closest neighbour is an extraordinarily provocative act. Not quite an act of war, but the sort of intervention that can all-too-easily provoke a catastrophic loss of trust.

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Darkness At The End Of The Rainbow?

By   /  November 16, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  19 Comments

The more sharp-eyed and ruthless members of the Liberal and National party rooms will have noticed that of the 17 federal electorates which voted “No” to marriage equality, fully 11 of them are held by the Australian Labor Party.

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Constructive Engagement With Jacinda’s Government? Or, Shouting Anti-TPP Slogans From The Side-Lines? The Left Must Choose

By   /  November 14, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  26 Comments

It is very easy for the traditional Left to call for grand gestures of defiance against the prevailing geopolitical realities: living with the consequences of such calls when you are in government is much harder.

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Democratic Engineers, Or Neoliberal Mechanics?

By   /  November 11, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  7 Comments

If our new Cabinet Ministers are working independently of their “officials”, then that is not, automatically, a bad thing. On the contrary, in a democracy: the spectacle of officials working for politicians, who are, in their turn, working for the people; offers welcome proof that the system is working exactly as it should!

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Settling The Stardust: The Grim Logic Behind National’s Opposition Tactics

By   /  November 9, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  43 Comments

WHAT WAS HE THINKING? When Simon Bridges pulled his little parliamentary stunt and extracted his procedural pound of flesh – what was he thinking? Was it no more than a spur-of-the-moment bluff? Did Labour’s Chris Hipkins give in too readily? What would have happened if the Government had been prepared to call his bluff? We’ll never know. We never do.

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